That’s all she wrote for letter grades in Duluth elementary schools. Jana Hollingsworth of the News Trib reports that the schools will rely on a rating of one to four to represent the student’s level of learning. The numbers reflect comprehension to mastery and report cards will be issued in January and June. The new ratings will show scores for more areas. Here’s Hollingsworth: “A first-grade report card, for example, will list the following for math: ability to compare and represent whole numbers and to model whole number addition and subtraction; and knowledge of patterns and number sentences, two- and three-dimensional shapes, measurements of length, time and money and problem solving.”
The Brainerd Dispatch decided to write another entry in the eternal battle between too much and not enough rain. Jennifer Stockinger writes that the spring has been dry so the 2.9 inches received last weekend was welcome. High winds caused trees to fall down, including one that wrecked a car in the Dairy Queen parking lot.
Speaking of the argument of drought v flood, Brad Phenow of the Faribault Daily News reports that the Rice County Sheriff’s Office says the county has low water levels, exposing rocks and underwater hazards in the lakes. They also quite rightly suggest those using personal flotation devices to keep an eye out for rock and underwater hazards.
Noticed that there have been too few state troopers on the highways lately? Not anymore! Fifty Minnesota State Patrol cadets graduate today after a 16-week training course at Camp Ripley. The new troopers are 21 to 45 years old, male and female, 15 military veterans, eight with prior law enforcement experience, a former grocery store manager, a former paramedic and the former owner of a Cold Stone Creamery, according to the Forum News Service.
Displaced by the state’s fowl fiasco: Four ducks and 16 chickens were removed from the Sibley Park petting zoo. They will outlast the outbreak in Milford, Iowa, according to the Mankato Free Press.
Apparently, at the May 13 meeting of the Labor Relations Committee of the Willmar City Council, Steve Gardner got up to speak and one of the council members was recorded saying “Oh great … listen to this idiot.” No one is saying who made the comment, so Mayor Marv Calvin personally apologized to Gardner on behalf of the city government, writes David Little of the West Central Tribune. “I think that in a position of leadership it’s always best to do the right thing and so I did apologize for the comment that was made on behalf of myself,’’ Calvin said. Warren Erickson was at the Labor Committee meeting said the council member should have the decency to apologize.
Duluth East’s robotics team won the state championship last weekend. The News Tribune reports said coach Tim Velner arranged an alliance with Woodbury and Eagan to win two of the three rounds. Earlier this year, the team was part of a three-team alliance that placed second in the FIRST Robotics World Championships in St Louis. That competition combines science and engineering know-how with cooperation and competition.
The new elementary school in Bemidji needs a name, and four have come to the fore. Matt Cory of the Bemidji Pioneer says the district had an online survey and the top four mentioned are Chief Bemidji, Earle Dickinson, Gene Dillon and Rick Lee. Here are the bios, from Cory’s report: Gene Dillon was a longtime supporter of Bemidji schools and served on the Bemidji School Board for 25 years; he died in September. Rick Lee was a longtime teacher and wrestling coach and is a member of the Bemidji High School Athletic Hall of Fame. Earle Dickinson created the Buena Vista Logging Village, where Buena Vista Ski Area now is, and was the founder of the annual Logging Days festival. He died in 2006. Chief Bemidji is Shaynowishkung, or “He Who Rattles,” who settled with his children and other families on the south shore of Bemijigamaag (Lake Bemidji). He died in 1904. As reference, here are the other elementary schools: J.W. Smith Elementary is named after a former school superintendent and Horace May Elementary is named after a longtime physical education teacher and coach.
And in North Dakota … The committee that has been tasked with looking for a new nickname for the University of North Dakota has cut the list from 1,172 to 64. Anne Burleson of the Grand Forks Herald says the 11-person committee cut 1,172 nickname ideas from consulting firm PadillaCRT to 26; last week, they cut another list of 500 to 38. From the first list, “Nodaks” was popular, as were “North Stars,” “Spirit” and “Pride.” On the second list, “The Force,” “Big Green” and “Flames” were popular. Here is one list [PDF] of the names that moved forward, and here is another list of approved and rejected names. UND retired its controversial Fighting Sioux monicker in 2012 after the NCAA threatened sanctions. The school has played as UND/North Dakota since. Some of the names that have been eliminated were “Pterodactyls,” “Meadowlarks,” “Pulverizers,” “Northerners” and “Oil Frackers.”